(click on the Brett Anderson or Ziggy photo for bigger view. Awesome photos!)
To all of you who missed out on Fan Appreciation Day, or who bemoaned that this was not going to be as great as past FanFests, let me tell you what my experience was like.
I live down the street from the Coli, so I popped the top on my Miata and drove down to Fan Appreciation Day. I was an hour early but there was already huge lines to get in, which made me happy to see all the fans.
Upon entering the stadium, they were handing out autograph tickets, assigned to specific stations. I drew station #3. I could see Ziggy, Casilla, Gags, and Eveland signing, but not who was signing in my line. The family in front of me, consisting of a mom and two kids, were just happy to be there. They were wondering what they were going to get an autograph on. I brought two game used balls with me, one thrown to me in the stands by Calero in the 06 series, one by Todd Jones in the same day. The kids were about 9 and 11, and I remembered what it was like, how baseball was bigger than life, so I reached into my bag and gave the kids one of my game used balls to get an autograph. Rest of the day karma?
The sky was bright blue and the air was buzzing with excitement. As I got to the end of the line, there was Brett Anderson, signing his little heart out. Sorry about the quality, I had to scan my film photograph. I will have it on disc later today if anyone wants any of these in higher quality, I thought they came out nice.
Tally: One Brett Anderson, future ace, on the sweet spot.
Next it was off to the World Series photo line. You get to stand in line and have your photo taken for free with the trophies. Meh, kinda cool, and with an hour to burn before the onfield antics began, why not. Karma alert #1!! Just as I was getting close to my turn, Curt Young came up and posed with the trophy. I got to shake his hand, get an autograph and get a great photo!
Tally: One glossy photo of Me and Curt Young with the 4 World Series Trophies (eat your heart out Slegna!)
Then, lo and behold, out of nowhere comes Jason himself! I got an autograph on my ball, a photo and a nice chat with the man himself. He was very gregarious with everyone in the crowd, taking time to pose for photos with most who came up for an autograph, and personalized them when requested. After NY, the guy could be expected to be cold and indifferent, but he I found him to be as enthusiastic and engaging as a rookie.
Tally: Jason Giambi autographed ball and photo! Oh, and when I asked him how Jeremy was, he said he was just hanging out. Sucker should have slid!
Then I got this sweet closeup of the Ziggy himself, and an autograph.
I also got to talk to Ken Korach and get his autograph, meet and shake hands with Bob Geren and get his autograph. His hands are HUGE!!!!
Tally: Korach and Geren!
The batting practice was insane. Let me tell you, Matt Holiday can flat rip the ball! Several balls hit off the second deck facade in left, and one home run was a line drive rope.
Tally for the day: One slight sunburn, autographs from Anderson, Ziggy, Geren, Giambi, Korach, Young. Photos with Curt Young and Jason Giambi and the trophies. And one huge smile from a 9 year old.
Karmatically awesome Fan Appreciation Day.